American Whiskey New Releases Whisky/Whiskey

Introducing Weller Millennium: Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Ultra-Aged Innovation

Buffalo Trace Distillery is thrilled to announce Weller Millennium, a first-of-its-kind, ultra-aged whiskey from the Original Wheated Bourbon brand. This category-redefining innovation is comprised of a blend of vintage straight wheated bourbon and wheat whiskeys that were distilled near the turn of the millennium and matured at Buffalo Trace Distillery for various lengths of time.

As the third oldest operating distillery in the world, with roots dating back to 1773, Buffalo Trace Distillery (as it’s known today) has been honing its craft since Kentucky was a wild, untamed frontier and the United States was just an idea. In the centuries that followed, the site changed hands numerous times, but one thing always remained constant: it was a homeplace for the creation of authentic American whiskey.

At the turn of the millennium, the Distillery was amid a period of transformation once again and looked to its forebearers for inspiration. As a trailblazer in the industry, the distillation team chose to pay homage to W.L. Weller by setting aside some of the first whiskeys distilled in the new millennium for the sole purpose of creating this extraordinary innovation.

“At Buffalo Trace Distillery, our motto is ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change,’ says Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller, Buffalo Trace Distillery. “As we are in constant pursuit of making the world’s best whiskey, we often hold back small lots of barrels to continue aging beyond our typical brand standards in hope that this aging experimentation will result in a particularly well-balanced, matured whiskey. In this case, we found the whiskey distilled in 2000 to show incredible balance and asked ourselves how wheat would perform as an ultra-aged spirit. It’s proven to be an impeccable backbone to this expression, allowing us to showcase wheat’s versatility and innovate beyond traditional wheated bourbon.”

A blend of vintage straight bourbon and wheat whiskeys distilled in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006, Weller Millennium highlights the impact wheat has on the whiskey’s flavor: the softness imparted by the wheat creates a smoother, sweeter, more approachable expression. By marrying these exceptional spirits, the whiskeys further integrate and harmonize with each other, creating a cohesive, balanced final product that is greater than the sum of its parts.

“In the 1840s, William Larue Weller created a legendary legacy by being one of the first to use wheat as an ingredient, establishing Weller as the World’s Original Wheated Bourbon. Using wheat in place of rye in the mashbill brought outstanding approachability with complexity of flavor,” says Andrew Duncan, Global Brand Director, Buffalo Trace Distillery. “Today, wheated recipes comprise some of the most coveted whiskies in the world, of which Weller has earned global recognition as the most awarded brand from the World’s Most Award-Winning Distillery. Having patiently waited for these exceptional whiskies to mature to our standard, we are pleased to introduce Weller Millennium as the brand’s pinnacle expression. This world-class expression captures the spirit of the incredible optimism felt at the turn of millennium, while charting a path to the future as a globally-celebrated wheated brand.”

On the nose, Weller Millennium boasts rich caramel and toffee notes, indicating prolonged interaction with oak barrels that lead into an oak woodiness, with layers of depth and complexity from years of maturation. Subtle but distinct hints of dried fruits, such as figs or raisins, and a touch of stone fruit can be found lingering throughout. Sweet notes of caramel persist on the palate finishing with a prominent oak influence, imparting a subtle dryness and a lingering sense of refinement.

In a presentation befitting the liquid inside, Weller Millennium is held in a 750ml handcrafted crystal decanter with a custom-made crystal topper hand-etched with W.L. Weller’s original “W” stamp of quality. An illuminated display envelopes the 99-proof bottling with exactly 99 bursts while sharing the percentages of each vintage spirit inside the bottle.

Weller Millennium will be released in limited quantities through United States and global distributor networks, which will ship to retailers, bars and restaurants as of June 2024 at a suggested retail price of $7,500 (750ml); taxes will vary by market. It joins the Weller portfolio including Weller Special Reserve, Weller Antique 107, Weller 12-Year-Old, Weller Full Proof, Weller C.Y.P.B. (“Craft Your Perfect Bourbon”) and Weller Single Barrel; Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat, from its experimental line; and William Larue Weller, which is released each fall as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1775 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 40 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its George T. Stagg was named World Whiskey of the Year for 2022 and its Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye was named 2nd Finest Whiskey in the World for 2022. Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 1,000 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. Buffalo Trace Distillery also has a deep commitment to supporting charitable initiatives. Nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about the Distillery’s efforts are encouraged to register their charity.